Circulating tumor cells in clinical research and monitoring patients with colorectal cancer

Claudia Burz _, Vlad-Vasile Pop, Rares Buiga, Sur Daniel, Gabriel Samasca, Cornel Aldea and Iulia Lupan

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:24561-24571. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25337

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Claudia Burz1,2, Vlad-Vasile Pop1, Rares Buiga2, Sur Daniel1,2, Gabriel Samasca1,3, Cornel Aldea3 and Iulia Lupan4,5

1Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Department Of Immunology and Allergology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

2Ion Chiricuta Institute of Oncology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

3Emergency Hospital for Children, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

4BabeČ™-Bolyai University, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotehnology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

5Institute of Interdisciplinary Research in Bio-Nano-Sciences, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Correspondence to:

Vlad-Vasile Pop, email: [email protected]

Keywords: colorectal cancer; circulating tumor cells; metastasis; prognostic factor; survival

Received: April 27, 2017     Accepted: April 24, 2018     Published: May 11, 2018


Colorectal cancer remains a frequent disease to which screening and target therapy exist, but despite this is still marked by a high mortality rate. Even though radical surgery may be performed in many cases, patients relapse with metastatic disease. Circulating tumor cells were incriminated for tumor recurrence, that’s why vigorous research started on their field. Owning prognostic and predictive value, it was revealed their usefulness in disease monitoring. Moreover, they may serve as liquid biopsies for genetic tests in cases where tissue biopsy is contraindicated or cannot be performed. In spite of these advantages, they were not included in clinical guidelines, despite CellSearch and many other detection methods were developed to ease the identification of circulating tumor cells. This review highlights the implication of circulating tumor cells in metastasis cascade, intrinsic tumor cells mechanisms and correlations with clinical parameters along with their utility for medical practice and detection techniques.

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